Opinion

Reynolds begins process to open Iowa’s economy

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

This past week, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced her plans to begin the process of reopening Iowa’s economy in a responsible and phased-in approach.

Beginning on May 1, previously closed businesses including restaurants, fitness centers, enclosed malls, libraries, and other retail establishments will be allowed to reopen. Additionally, churches are allowed to reopen statewide and resume regular religious services and ceremonies. Elective and non-essential surgeries were allowed to resume on Monday. These establishments, both businesses and religious, are required to take additional precautions and implement health and safety measures to protect people. This applies to 77 counties.

Twenty-two counties will remain under previously announced restrictions. These counties continue to be "hot spots" in the state with a larger number of positive cases being reported.

Governor Reynolds' plan to reopen Iowa is smart and responsible.

If we wait too long to reopen Iowa, irreparable harm could be done not only to our economy, but to the overall health and well-being of Iowans. Many Iowans are currently going without critical medical care, including mental health and preventative care. Child abuse cases are down, but that's due to a decrease in the number of reports, not actual abuse. There are many other consequences that will remain to be seen when we are past these unprecedented times.

Iowans have been patient and played a crucial role in slowing the spread of COVID-19. We must allow them to get back to their jobs, schools, churches, and social lives as quickly and as safely as possible.

In late April, Governor Reynolds announced a new initiative that will significantly increase COVID-19 testing throughout the state. Test Iowa will vastly increase the number of Iowans who have been tested and will provide us with additional data and a better understanding of where "hot spots" are located in the state so additional measures can be taken to slow and control the spread of the illness.

Iowans are encouraged to visit TestIowa.com to take the online assessment and determine whether or not they qualify for COVID-19 testing. Over the coming weeks, drive-thru test sites will be set up across the state to accommodate this additional testing.

It is important that we all play a role and do our part to fight back against the coronavirus. Be sure to visit TestIowa.com to see if you qualify for testing. We will all get through this together!